By Kathy Rizzo, TeleNet Marketing Solutions
How do you get a higher rate of return on your next teleprospecting campaign? All it may take is a little alignment.
If sales teams and teleprospectors are on the same page, you may see more leads converting to the pipeline. Aligning your teleprospecting team closely with your sales organizations will ultimately ensure the highest return on investment.
Why does this relationship matter? There are several reasons:
- Trust and Credibility – Sales reps will trust information that comes from someone they personally know versus a lead that appears in their CRM lead tab.
- Quality – By receiving direct communication from the sales reps, teleprospectors will quickly learn what types of leads and value-add information are the most advantageous.
- Sense of Ownership – When a relationship is established, both parties will have a more vested interest in making it successful. This translates to higher quality leads and more diligent sales follow-up.
Creating a direct relationship between teleprospectors and sales reps does not mean that the two teams need to be physically located together. Virtual relationships are easily established and very effective. A few best practices include:
Establish a clear lead definition and communicate it to everyone. Gain input and buy-in from the sales management team on the criteria for qualified leads to ensure all leads match their expectations. Once this definition is established, ensure it’s clearly communicated to both your teleprospectors and the sales representatives.
Align teleprospectors to specific sales territories. Depending on the size of the territories, which may be defined geographically, by segment and/or by industry, one teleprospector should be able to effectively support two to six sales representatives. Be mindful not to make the ratio too large, as it becomes more challenging to build effective relationships when one teleprospector is supporting dozens of sales representatives.
Define communication expectations. Teleprospectors and sales representatives should communicate one-on-one via phone, email and instant messenger as leads are uncovered and appointments are set. The teleprospector should provide a written overview of the need, situation and next steps within the CRM. In addition, it’s advisable for the teleprospector to call the sales representative to verbally share any additional details — such as the tone of the conversation — as well as answer questions.
In the case of an urgent customer need, the use of an instant messenger tool can facilitate immediate communication between the teleprospector and appropriate sales representative — and may result in an immediate “hot transfer” directly to sales.
Establish calendar sharing for appointment scheduling. Arming your teleprospectors with access to the calendars of each of the sales representatives they support will allow seamless scheduling of appointments. Considering that one of the most frequent complaints sales representatives have about leads is difficulty in reaching them, establishing an appointment is absolutely ideal. A few additional best practices:
- Once the prospect agrees to an appointment, the teleprospector should schedule it on the sales representative’s calendar and send a meeting notice to both parties.
- The teleprospector should also track “acceptance” of the appointment by the lead contact.
- Additionally, the teleprospector can confirm attendance just prior to the appointment.
Create a feedback loop. The teleprospecting management team should receive feedback on a regular basis in terms of which leads converted and advanced through the pipeline and which did not. This type of feedback is critical to ensuring that the right types of leads are passed to sales in order to positively impact revenue. Be prepared to make adjustments to the lead definition based on feedback and results.
Allow sales reps to pass leads back to the teleprospector. A portion of leads will inevitably stall or be delayed due to changes in leadership, budget freezes and other issues. Rather than closing leads when this happens, ideally they should funnel back to the teleprospector for further nurturing and revitalization.
The best practices outlined above are designed to tighten collaboration and ultimately advance leads into the sales funnel for the highest possible return on investment.
Kathy Rizzo is the VP of Sales and Marketing at TeleNet Marketing Solutions. She has led many of TeleNet’s high-tech B2B marketing clients through successful lead generation and lead nurturing programs since she co-founded the company in 1999.